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© Gail Underwood Parker

Monday, June 6, 2011

School Bell: Teacher Gift Ideas

'Tis the season when people and room parents are trying to think of a good end of year gift for the teacher. Mugs, candles, desk organizers, memo pads, are often appreciated  by new teachers, but are accumulated in huge quantities over the years so something different for a veteran teacher is nice. So, I thought I would share a few specific suggestions that might give you some more ideas.

One of my favorite book gifts for teachers is the children's book:
Mrs. Spitzer's Garden
By Edith Pattou
Ill by Tricia Tusa
Pub: Harcourt Children's Books

This delightful tale of a fun, creative kindergarten teacher evolves as a metaphor for all teachers so that even older level teachers will be touched that you thought of them in connection with this story.
It retails under $20, often is on sale for under $15 and is often found used for as low as $2 plus shipping
HINT: If you have the giver write a note in the front or have all the class sign it or put a photo of the class [with people identified] the book becomes even more special.

Giving equal time: Barnes and Noble ... you can find the book on their site where it also lists used options. Amazon also has this book with used options. I always support using your local independent bookstore as a first stop and even they sometimes have used books available so it is worth a phone call.

Gift certificates:
--How about one for a garden shop which offers plants, flowers, accessories, pots, etc.?
--How about a certificate for a local popular restaurant? [Don't go ethnic unless you're sure.]
--Maybe a state park pass for a nature lover, if there are some parks nearby?
--Almost anyone can enjoy a movie passes or Netflix certificate for movies & TV shows

Group Gifts:
• One of my all-time favorites that cost both thought and money was a large paper bag they had labeled "A Well-Deserved 24-Hours Off" that had: paper plates, cups, napkins, plasticware, big bag of chips, a 2-liter bottle of my favorite soda, a certificate to a local pizza and sub shop, a pencil & book of Soduko puzzles,  a CD by a group I liked, a coupon to the local bookstore to buy a book, a dinner certificate to a local restaurant and a movie pass. What a day I had!!

•My favorite almost-no-cost group gift was a literal rock garden. Someone purchased a large flower pot base. Each child brought a rock, all different shapes and colors. Each child wrote their name on one side of their rock and thought of a word that described me.  The person in charge [who had decent printing] wrote the child's word on the other side of that child's rock. Each rock was coated [with shellac maybe?] to protect it. The rocks were arranged around one purchased rock that had the word "Peace" carved in it. I love my rock garden. I rearrange the rocks every once in a while.  I treasure the words each child chose and each child has stayed alive in memory through the rock garden.
Years later it is still out in my home, long after mugs, bath salt sets, and the like have gone.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT post! I was actually looking for group gift ideas for a beloved boss who is changing jobs and this fit the bill. And, as a former room mom, these are terrific ideas for the oh-so-hard-to-think of group teacher gifts too, of course! Thank you.